If Carolina Herrera sees a model who doesn’t look healthy, she says something. “If I see a girl who looks sick and is very, very thin, I don’t use her,” she said before her bridal and resort shows at her Madison Avenue boutique last night. “I had a long confrontation with two or three of them, and I said ‘Don’t be so thin — it’s not even attractive.’” When we brought up the pending skinny-model ban in France, she said the fashion industry shouldn’t take all the heat for inciting anorexia. “Anorexia is everywhere. It’s in the schools, it’s in ballet. You see it everywhere, the girls trying to be thin, and they always connect it with fashion,” she said. Perhaps the fashion industry should take a stance against the problem, we suggested. “In which way do you think? Showing the collections with very fat people?” she countered. “The reason why we decide to show such girls is because the women who are sitting watching the collection are fantasizing that if they buy that dress they are going to look like them. And they look ethereal.” Stacy London was listening in on our conversation and noted skinny models are what women want. “There were studies done when they did fashion shows on television with normal-sized women — anywhere from size 8 to 12 — and women weren’t interested in watching,” she said.
Herrera suggested if the world must come down on the fashion industry, they should criticize it for its praise of Amy Winehouse. “Look at that girl now … Do you think that’s normal to make her a hero for the girls?” she said. “She’s a great singer, but she’s a terrible image for the young girls’ generation.” So was she glad the Met axed her from the Costume Institute gala lineup? “I don’t mind if they use her for her performance and her voice and her show and all that. But don’t get inspiration from the way she dresses and the way she combs her hair,” Herrera said. “I am so against drugs.” —Katie Goldsmith